Can I write "nonsensual data" for data that makes no sense?



I am worried that "nonsensual data" might come across as data that does not have a lot of erotic vibe....


Posted 2015-04-22T11:41:31.017

Reputation: 683

14Like the opposite of consensual data? – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2015-04-22T11:45:24.293

No, as in "making no sense". – BoZenKhaa – 2015-04-22T12:16:27.897


You could just use *nonsense* adjectivally. There are hundreds of written instances of nonsense data in Google Books.

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2015-04-22T12:25:13.430

20No, you can't use nonsense adjectivally (that would be nonsensical), but you can use nonsense as an attributive noun. – snailplane – 2015-04-22T12:48:01.010

6I read "nonsensual data" as "data not perceived by the senses" and thought that we were going to be talking about psychics. – ColleenV – 2015-04-22T20:07:40.533

Sadly (?) most data are rather non-sensual.. – OJFord – 2015-04-22T21:05:45.383

19"Oh George, your data is so sensual," she moaned. :-) There must be some geek erotica in there somewhere. – Jay – 2015-04-22T21:18:57.580

@Jay: no, apparently George's data was quite the opposite... – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica – 2015-04-23T23:28:57.733



Absolutely not!

The term you're looking for is nonsensical. As in "without sense".

Thanks for the chuckle, haha!


Posted 2015-04-22T11:41:31.017

Reputation: 4 357

3Oh ok! Thanks, that's the word! In my head, I thought "nonsense"->"nonsensual", but it did not feel quite right... :-) – BoZenKhaa – 2015-04-22T11:59:10.090

15That would make sense logically, and if we didn't already have the word "sensual" in the English language that's what it would probably be instead. But yeah, nonsense data is nonsensical and boring old data that doesn't kiss on the first date is nonsensual! – Mark – 2015-04-22T12:02:59.860

27Well, maybe I should throw away my nonsensical data (since it does not make sense anyway) and go get some sensual data.. – BoZenKhaa – 2015-04-22T12:15:31.407

10Joined this just to upvote this question and answer. – Jesvin Jose – 2015-04-22T12:31:19.657

1@aitchnyu welcome to the site! – James – 2015-04-22T14:37:34.320

1Yeah, nonsensical. As a native speaker can tell what you meant by context and similarity. I would have gotten a good laugh out of it though. – Zessa – 2015-04-22T15:38:48.043

There's nothing wrong with the term "nonsensual data", it just means something else: data not derived from the human senses. – Lee Daniel Crocker – 2015-04-24T17:53:12.503



1. having no meaning; making no sense.
"a nonsensical argument"
synonyms: meaningless, senseless, illogical
"her nonsensical way of talking"

Jean Desjardins

Posted 2015-04-22T11:41:31.017

Reputation: 141

5Welcome to ELL :-). Can you please edit your post to add a reference to a dictionary entry? It's a good answer, if it had a reference, I would certainly upvote it ;-) – Lucky – 2015-04-22T20:04:08.930

4I feel bad that the accepted answer also has no reference, but it gets 37 votes while giving less information than this answer. – justhalf – 2015-04-23T02:44:15.347

3@justhalf: the accepted answer does not seem to literally quote from a non-disclosed source. It's that unattributed quoting that is the problem - some would call that plagiarism. – oerkelens – 2015-04-23T09:17:18.383

@oerkelens: Can you advice me on this? The definition seems to be taken from Google Define by searching "nonsensical" in Google. Google doesn't seem to list the source, though. – justhalf – 2015-04-23T09:37:20.570

@justhalf - if you quote a definition from Google Define, then simply say as much. Don't leave the community wondering what dictionary you got your definition from. – J.R. – 2015-04-23T09:49:57.133

1@J.R.: Can we edit the answer to include that it's from Google Define? It seems exactly the same, and this is the first answer for Jean Desjardins. – justhalf – 2015-04-23T09:54:53.943

@justhalf - Do you get the same synonyms listed there? Anyhow, we could edit it, but I think it would be best to let the OP come back and edit it themselves, based on these comments. If it's not edited after a few days, then an edit from a member would be prudent. – J.R. – 2015-04-23T10:02:35.273

@J.R.: It's exactly the same, even the IPA and the examples. But I agree it's best to wait for OP to edit. It's better if OP can give more explanation also why nonsensical will be a better choice than nonsensual =) – justhalf – 2015-04-23T10:06:30.140


It is also entirely correct to say "nonsense data." In some cases it's actually better. If you were trying to produce data that was nonsense to feed into a program for testing purposes, I would expect it to just be called "nonsense data."

Mark Foskey

Posted 2015-04-22T11:41:31.017

Reputation: 1 745

I won't comment on the grammar of "feeding a program nonsense data to see what happens" , but I can concur that this is a very common usage in engineering in the U.S. – Adam – 2015-04-24T17:06:19.580


As a developer, I would strongly recommend the term contrived for describing data that is without semantic value (e.g. 'lorem ipsum' text). To say something is contrived specifically conveys that it was created intentionally or artificially, which would perfectly explain the existence of data that is otherwise meaningless.

Steve Benner

Posted 2015-04-22T11:41:31.017

Reputation: 141